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The Vânători de Munte (Romanian pronunciation: [vɨnəˈtorʲ de ˈmunte], English translation: Mountain Huntsmen) are the elite mountain troops of the Romanian Land Forces. They were first established as an independent Army Corps in 1916 during World War I, and became operational in 1917 under Corpul de Munte designation.[1]

Vânători de munte
Romanian Mountain Troops National Day 2007.jpg
ActiveSince 1916
Country Romania
Branch Romanian Land Forces
RoleMountain Infantry
SizeTwo brigades
Garrison/HQ2nd Mountain Troops Brigade - Brașov
61st Mountain Troops Brigade - Miercurea Ciuc



The Romanian vânători de munte saw action in World War II on the Eastern Front in some of the harshest battles - including the sieges of Sevastopol and Stalingrad - where their performance lived up to their reputation: virtually all their commanders from brigade level and up received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross, with general Mihail Lascăr being the first foreigner to receive Oak Leaves on 22 November 1942 (see List of foreign recipients of the Knight's Cross). After 23 August 1944, they fought on the Soviet side, notably in Tatra Mountains.[2] The greatest single achievement of the vânători de munte was the capture of Nalchik on 2 November 1942, the farthest point of Axis advance into the Caucasus. This victory earned Romanian Brigadier General Ioan Dumitrache the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.[3]

After the end of the war, one of the first measures taken by the Soviets in occupied Romania was to disband the mountain troops. Shortly after the Soviet occupation troops left Romania in 1958, the vânători de munte were re-established again as a distinct branch of the socialist Romanian Land Forces.

There are currently two brigades operational, one subordinated to the 1st Infantry Division (the 2nd Mountain Troops Brigade "Sarmizegetusa"), and another one subordinated to the 4th Infantry Division (the 61st Mountain Troops Brigade "General Virgil Bădulescu"). Mountain troops units participated in the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.[4]

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